A Lesson From History
By Kajal Kataria
Home maker, Bangalore
Foreword by Venkat
As students we learn about the law of conservation of charges which states that the total charge in a system remain constant and the positive and negative charges always exist in pairs (equal in amount). This law can be applied as well to life and human nature to equal effect. The capacity to interpret the negative comes when the positive in known. While the real nature is non-dual as explained in detail in our scriptures, the pairs in all dualities are a necessary means to understand as well as to communicate to help others understand the value of things. No story can be effective in conveying its message without the pair of opposites (usually of the good and evil).
Kajal takes us through a trip into a few pages of history and nails down the value that emerges from the contrast of the named vs. the unnamed tombs (again opposites). While we will never know the likely turn of events if Aurangzeb’s elder brother ruled instead of him, we can be rest assured that where there are liberals, there would be conservatives (and vice versa). So it would not really matter if history were different (than we know it today) going by the law of conservation of dual qualities (if I may call it so)!
This article in Kajal’s simple words, inspires to always explore the unwritten stories, unsung heroes, and un-named tombs of history that brought us to our present.
About Kajal Kataria
“As a stay at home mom, I realized I was passionate about creating value for my children and developing their seeking spirit. Then any subject you take up, it becomes interesting. Hence, I realized talking with people, with children, and talking and reading to them not only encourages them, but makes us aware of how creative the young minds can be if given the right environment. I hope to continue in this pursuit of making my kids always be inspired with this journey of life.“
A Lesson From History
When I think about history, I think back of my school times where we used to have very short paragraphs of events or people and were asked to mug them. It was dull, boring and the poor teacher would barely be able to keep us interested! And I don’t blame her, she had to finish the course.
Recently I started reading “Sapiens – A brief history of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari. And then I started talking to my daughter about it. To be frank, the book is so heavy, I have barely managed 4 chapters in the book. But when I started talking about it, my daughter was rapt with attention. I realized I was telling her a story. And isn’t history actually a beautiful story to be told which would shape our present and future ?
I started reading some books for my 10 year old about how human settlements came to be, how societies evolved. And I realised now books are getting more and more interesting. All we need to do is encourage the kids to keep reading. In my case, of course, my knowledge is very minimal. So I end up reading these children books to keep up.
A few years ago, we visited Delhi. And I wanted the kids to breathe in the history. And Delhi is literally amazing. While driving from the airport to the hotel, I saw so many ruins on the way. I am sure each stone has some history to tell. We of course visited all the famous places. I have visited Delhi at least 6 times and seen the touristy places often, but this time I was armed with my knowledge and reading. I wanted to feel the place. And with that, I saw every tourist spot with a new eye. I was enamoured.
One place I visited was the beautiful tomb of Humayun. What I noticed in my visits to many such tombs was that there were many unmarked tombs around them. But I didn’t see much written about them (at least I did not notice anything). When I was reading about Aurangzeb, is when I happened to know the fate of Shah Jahan’s sons. “Takht ya Takhta” throne or Coffin, is what the entire Mughal Empire can be described in a nutshell. Sadly, the fate of Aurangzeb’s blood brother, Dara Shukoh was the Takhta ( I specifically say blood brother because Shah Jahan thought that if the brothers had the same mother, they would not fight for the throne as they would have natural love for each other, which however was not true here ). The lust for the throne, the power, was so great that they were willing to kill their own blood. Aurangzeb’s fate for his elder brother was grotesque in every manner and his remains are said to have been buried in an unidentified grave in Humayun’s Tomb. Aurangzeb felt Dara Shukoh was more liberal in his religious beliefs whereas Aurangzeb’s interpretation of religion was more orthodox.
I wonder, if Dara Shukoh had succeeded Shah Jahan as king, would the course of history have changed, would it be different now. We will never know and we cannot change this past. But when we visit these places and we see unmarked buildings, graves and sites, we can at least give them their due respect. Who knows, if we learn much more from history, we can at least change our present for the better.
By Kajal Kataria